Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Review: The Better Sister by Alafair Burke

Family ties are stretched to their limit in the latest Alafair Burke novel; let’s see what Kerry Hammond thought of the book.

The Better Sister by Alafair Burke was released on April 16, in Hardcover, by Harper publishers. Burke is the NY Times bestselling author of 18 novels, including a series written with author Mary Higgins Clark. I’m a big fan of Burke’s writing and have enjoyed both her standalone novels and her Ellie Hatcher series. I was excited to hear she had a new standalone mystery and eager to check it out.

In The Better Sister, we first meet Chloe, who is a successful publishing executive at a magazine in New York City. Her husband Adam, an attorney, is found murdered in their home in the Hamptons and she finds herself making contact with Adam’s ex-wife….who just happens to be her sister, Nicky. Nicky and Adam were divorced years ago, when their son Ethan was just a child. Chloe has raised Ethan, been a mother to him when Nicky couldn’t, and they have a bond that he and Nicky don’t share.

When the police begin to look at Ethan as a suspect in his father’s death, Chloe and Nicky are forced to reconnect, their common goal to protect Ethan. The investigation uncovers quite a few discrepancies in the story that Ethan told the police, and both women experience a strong desire to defend the teenage boy. But the question is: did he kill his father and, if so, why?

Burke is a wonderful storyteller. She is skilled at painting a picture that upon first examination seems quite straightforward. As the story unfolds, however, you realize that things are anything but straightforward. I enjoyed following along for the ride, not knowing where the book was ultimately going to land, but intrigued by the journey. Burke remains on my list of authors whose work I will pick up and read without even consulting the book jacket. I am always guaranteed a suspenseful story with a twist or two, and a satisfying ending.

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review was fair and completely independent.

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